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Contrasting individual and aggregate studies in alcohol research? Combining them is the answer!
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2004 (English)In: Addiction Research and Theory, ISSN 1058-6989, Vol. 12, no 1, 1-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The reprint of Rose's (1985) seminal paper reiterated the distinction between two etiological questions: What are the causes of individual cases, and what are the causes of population incidence? The first question deals with within-population variability and the second with between-population variability, suggesting that individual level studies should be used to answer the first question and aggregate level studies to answer the second. What findings should be trusted, however, when the results from aggregate and individual level studies on the same topic diverge? One example of the divergence of findings in the alcohol field is that of studies on coronary heart disease. The overwhelming majority of individual level studies have shown the protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption for coronary heart disease, however aggregate level studies have failed to corroborate this finding. This discrepancy has been taken by some as evidence that the aggregate level disproved a causal relation at the individual level. This implies that the same hypothesis could be tested at both levels. The present editorial will reiterate the notion of Rose (1985) that both types of analyses answer different questions and cannot be expected to coincide in results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 12, no 1, 1-10 p.
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59042DOI: 10.1080/1606635031000155107OAI: diva2:424805
Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved

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Room, Robin
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